Headlines – News – Articles
26th April, 2012

New monk seal killing alarms Hawaii

Media Watch, Reward offered in death of Monk Seal, KITV

The Department of Land and Natural Resources is investigating the death of 3-year-old male monk seal found on Kauai, Sunday. Photo Courtesy: NOAA

KAUAI – The Department of Land and Natural Resources is investigating the death of a 3-year-old male monk seal, who was found dead on Sunday.

DLNR chair William Aila said the seal was found on a Northeast Kaua’i beach in an area were seals have been harmed before. […]

DLNR officials say this is the fifth monk seal death under investigation.

Since November, three seals were found dead on Molokai and two have been found dead on Kaua’i.

The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the monk seal deaths is now up to $40,000.

The anonymous and reward tip line is 1-855-DLNR-TIP.

Source: Reward offered in death of Monk Seal, KITV, 25 April 2012

27th January, 2012

Some say monk seal protection law may have backfired

Media Watch, KITV,25 January 2012

The suspicious death of four Hawaiian monk seals has triggered numerous calls into a tipline hoping to lead investigators to who may be responsible. […]

YouTube Video

16th January, 2012

Special Report: Fight for Survival

Media Watch, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 15 January 2012

[…] The current theory is that the ancient ancestors of today’s Hawaiian monk seals began exploring from their original home in the Caribbean 3 million years ago through what is now Central America during a time of global climate change, said Charles Littnan, program leader for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hawaiian monk seals research.

“We don’t know how long that immigration took to occur, perhaps hundreds of thousands of years,” Littnan said. “We do know that quite dramatic climate change was happening, and these are tropical animals that will have to go to where they are better adapted to survive. They probably went to other areas and didn’t survive. But Hawaii was this perfect match for this far-traveling seafarer.” […]

Source: The Hawaiian Monk Seal, Living Fossil, Dan Nakaso, Special Report, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 15 January 2012. [PDF 20.2 MB]

12th January, 2012

$30,000 Reward

Media Watch, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 12 January 2012

Rewards of up to $30,000, the largest of its kind in Hawaii, are being offered for confidential tips that lead to the arrest and conviction of whoever killed three critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals on Molokai and Kauai since November.

Tips on each killing come with individual $10,000 rewards, for a total of $30,000 for all three cases, said Inga Gibson, Hawaii’s state director for the Humane Society of the United States. […]

Today, Aila [chairman of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources] and Gibson [Hawaii’s state director for the Humane Society of the United States] announced a new toll-free, confidential hotline for tips that can lead to the $10,000 and $30,000 rewards — 1-855-DLNR-TIP. [More]

Source: $30,000 in rewards offered for clues on who killed monk seals, Dan Nakaso, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 12 January 2012

8th January, 2012

Hawaii’s seal killing outbreak

Media Watch, USA Today, 8 January 2012

No one knows who is killing the seals — a critically endangered species — or why.

But the deaths are coming as the federal government steps up its efforts to protect the seals, leading to simmering resentment among some fishermen who fear new regulations will trample upon their right to fish. The killings are also happening as the misguided notion spreads that the animals aren’t native to Hawaii and don’t belong here.

“It’s really serious. This attitude, this negative attitude toward the seals has overpowered the concern that this is a species that’s going to become extinct,” said Walter Ritte, a Molokai resident and longtime activist who has sounded an alarm about the killings. [More]

Source: Outbreak of endangered seal killings in Hawaii, USA Today, 8 January 2012.

5th January, 2012

Suspected killing of fourth seal investigated on Kauai

Media Watch, KITV, 4 January 2012

A fourth monk seal found dead in the islands in less than three months has state and federal officials appealing for the public’s help to stop the killings. A fisherman reported the latest Hawaiian monk seal found dead two days ago in Pilaa on the Northeast coast of Kauai. It was a juvenile male, who state officials said had suspicious, visible wounds to his head. The injuries are similar to three monk seals found dead on Molokai’s westside in recent weeks.”We hope to stop this trend and the only we can do this is to have people understand that we need to get along and there’s no reason for anyone to go out and kill a monk seal,” said state land director William Aila. [More]

Source: Monk Seal Death On Kauai Under Investigation — Kauai Death Makes Four Dead Seals Since November, KITV, 4 January 2012.

30th December, 2011

Third monk seal found dead

Media Watch, Honolulu Civil Beat, 28 December 2011

A third monk seal was found dead on Molokai Wednesday and officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are working to determine the cause of death.

The discovery comes after news last week that NOAA is investigating the deaths of two other monk seals in which foul play is suspected. […]

The monk seal deaths come at a time when tensions between local fishermen and NOAA have escalated as the agency considers expanding protections for the endangered species around the main Hawaiian islands. [More]

Source: Third monk seal found dead on Molokai, Sophie Cocke, Honolulu Civil Beat, 28 December 2011

24th December, 2011

US authorities investigate monk seal deaths

Media Watch, Maui Now, 23 December 2011

State and federal authorities are investigating the suspicious deaths of two Hawaiian monk seals found recently on the south shore of Moloka‘i. […]

Authorities say foul play cannot be ruled out as the cause in either case. […]

Molokai resident Walter Ritte issued a statement saying the deaths are an “indication of a dangerous trend that must be stopped.”

Walter Ritte:  “Our elders are saying that these seals are not Hawaiian. Our young people are calling these seals an invasive species brought in by government. The seals are now the easy targets of blame for the many ills of our depleting fisheries. We need to stand up for the truth: These seals are not only Hawaiian, but have been here longer than the Hawaiians. These seals are not invasive; they are like the Hawaiian people who are struggling to survive in their own lands. Hawaiians need to see themselves when they see a Hawaiian Monk Seal. How we treat the seals, is how we can be expected to be treated as Hawaiians in Hawaii.” [More]

Source: Moloka‘i monk seal deaths deemed suspicious, Wendy Osher, Maui News, 23 December 2011